Tag Archives: care

Hancock’s excuse for care home deaths changes with the wind – but doesn’t change the fact that HE LIED TO US

Smug little liar: when Matt Hancock opens his mouth to make a claim, it will probably be wrong – or irrelevant.

It should have been easy to demonstrate that Matt Hancock has been lying to Parliament.

This Site provided a handy guide for members of the Commons Science and Health committees, who questioned the Death Health Secretary for four and a half hours on Thursday (June 10).

But instead of catching him out over his old lies, committee members managed to let him tell some new ones.

And they don’t even excuse him from the accusation he faces: causing the deaths of more than 40,000 care home residents by failing to provide adequate protection against Covid-19 – and lying about it.

We know he told us on May 15 last year, “Right from the start we’ve tried to throw a protective ring around our care homes. We set out our first advice in February… we’ve made sure care homes have the resources they need”.

Would this be the advice from Public Health England that “There is currently no transmission of Covid-19 in the community. It is therefore very unlikely that anyone receiving care in a care home … will become infected”?

If so, then it is clearly that his “protective ring” claim was false. Clearly, one of the resources necessary to ensure that care homes are protected from Covid-19 is the testing of people going into those homes, to ensure they don’t have it. This testing was not carried out.

Nor were homes provided with equipment to protect care home residents, in case their neighbours returning from hospital might have the virus – or with advice on how to achieve such protection.

We know that government policy was to provide no protection at all.

This policy did not change, even though Covid-19 deaths were registered at care homes from March 2. So the Tories allowed those deaths – and the infections causing them – to go uncontrolled for 10 days (March 12 is when we understand the advice was changed) before taking any action at all.

Covid-19 testing did not begin in those homes until July last year, by which time more than 29,000 people had died there. At least a further 11,000 people died after testing began, bringing the total to more than 40,000.

Hancock told the BBC’s Andrew Marr that [bolding mine] “we brought in the policy of wanting to test everybody who went into a care home as soon as we had those tests available”.

That is not what he told us last May. He lied.

At the Science/Health committee hearing, he said the government had not changed its advice on routinely testing hospital patients before they were discharged into care homes did not change until April – because it was following scientific advice that the virus was unlikely to spread asymptomatically.

That does not make his “protective ring” claim any less of a lie. It doesn’t matter what the scientific advice was – he had claimed the government had been protecting care home residents since February when it hadn’t.

None of his witterings about the scientific advice changes this fact.

Here’s another howler:

Defending the government’s initial advice that all hospital patients did not need to be repeatedly tested before being sent to care homes, he said ministers had “followed the clinical advice” at all times.

Again, this does not excuse him from lying. He said the government had put a “protective ring” around care homes when in fact it had left them completely unprotected.

Why did the MPs grilling (if that’s the word) Hancock not point out that nothing he had said changed the fact that he had lied?

Were they protecting him, for reasons unknown to us? If so, that’s dereliction of duty.

Were they dazzled by the new set of excuses he put up to replace the debunked previous batch?

Or are they simply as stupid as Hancock himself?

He clearly thinks they are, otherwise he would have at least come up with lies that were more convincing.

If any other MP is reading this (I know many of you do), can you please point out that Hancock’s lie is obvious and proven – and that we, the people, want him to face serious and lasting consequences?

Source: Covid: Matt Hancock defends timing of first lockdown – BBC News

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Hancock denies claim about Covid-testing care home residents. What DID he mean, then?

Matt Hancock: hopefully the next time any news media show a picture of him in a car, it will be after he has been removed from his job as Health Secretary for lying to Parliament and the public, and for deliberately allowing more than 40,000 care home residents to die by failing to provide them with “the resources they need”.

Death Health Secretary Matt Hancock is dissembling maniacally in a desperate attempt to deny causing thousands of care home deaths.

He’s telling us that he never claimed, during the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic, that care home residents were being tested for the disease before being discharged from hospital back to those homes.

Perhaps he didn’t say so in as many words.

So the question arises: what did he mean when he told us on May 15 last year, “Right from the start we’ve tried to throw a protective ring around our care homes. We set out our first advice in February… we’ve made sure care homes have the resources they need”?

Clearly, one of the resources necessary to ensure that care homes are protected from Covid-19 is the testing of people going into those homes, to ensure they don’t have it.

Boris Johnson was caught lying about care homes on May 13 last year, when he claimed that the government imposed a lockdown there before the national lockdown started at the end of March 2020.

In fact, the Tories followed out-of-date advice from Public Health England, published on February 25 that year, until March 12 – by which time thousands of deaths were taking place in care homes across the UK.

That advice stated: “There is currently no transmission of Covid-19 in the community. It is therefore very unlikely that anyone receiving care in a care home … will become infected.”

Therefore government policy was not to provide any protection in care homes at all.

Between March 2 and May 1, 2020, no fewer than 12,526 people died with Covid-19 in care homes.

Covid-19 testing did not begin in those homes until July last year, by which time more than 29,000 people had died there. At least a further 11,000 people died after testing began, bringing the total to more than 40,000.

Hancock told the BBC’s Andrew Marr that [bolding mine] “we brought in the policy of wanting to test everybody who went into a care home as soon as we had those tests available”.

That is not what he, nor his boss Boris Johnson, told the public at the time. Bizarrely, he still claimed

 that he had been honest and straightforward with people during the pandemic.

That is clearly a lie, right there.

We know that care homes were being treated as though there was no possibility at all that any of their residents could have Covid-19, right up to March 12, 2020 – 10 days after people there had started dying because of the virus.

We know that Hancock had claimed that he had thrown a “protective ring” around care homes by providing them with “the resources they need”.

What resources did Hancock mean in that statement?

It occurs to This Writer that any such resources must include the facilities to isolate residents from their fellow residents after returning from hospital, and the ability to test them for Covid-19 before allowing them to mix with anybody else at all.

If Hancock is now saying that government policy at this time was that it wanted to test people – but wasn’t actually to test them – then logic dictates that it did not provide care homes with the resources they need.

That would mean Hancock lied to Marr, because he lied to the nation in May last year.

Taking this further, logic suggests that his reason for lying was the fact that by the time he made his false claim, more than 12,526 people had died because the government had not provided care homes with “the resources they need”, after having claimed that it had.

I am reminded of the image Dominic Cummings supplied, of a whiteboard covered with ideas about how the government intended to cope with Covid-19, early in 2020. At the bottom is the question: “who do we not save?”

It seems likely that we now know the answer to that question.

And it seems Hancock is trying to slither out of responsibility for allowing those unnecessary deaths to happen.

This Writer hopes that when Hancock faces a joint meeting of the Commons Health and Science committees during the week, his fellow MPs point out these facts to him, along with one more fact: deliberately lying to Parliament is still a sacking offence for any member of the government.

He’s a slippery, treacherous creature but Hancock has set a trap for himself. Let’s hope his Parliamentary colleagues have the intelligence to spring it on him.

Source: Covid: Matt Hancock responds to Dominic Cummings’s care homes remark – BBC News

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Nearly 9,000 people died from catching Covid-19 in English hospitals. Comment, Matt Hancock?

Smug little liar: Matt Hancock defended himself with untrue claims after Dominic Cummings lambasted him for his many failures to tackle Covid-19. This was just one of them and it caused around 22,000 deaths.

So much for Matt Hancock’s “protective ring” around care homes.

Official NHS data shows around 8,700 people died of Covid-19 after contracting it while being treated for other conditions in English hospitals.

It seems logical to conclude that these include many people who Hancock then sent back to care homes, where inadequate procedures to shield vulnerable residents caused more than 20,000 deaths in total, unless I recall the figures inaccurately.

Fact-checking by The Guardian states that Dominic Cummings’ claim – that Matt Hancock had said a protective shield would be put around care homes but that this was nonsense – was true. That article states:

Cummings said: “We were told categorically in March that people would be tested before they went back to [care] homes, we only subsequently found out that that hadn’t happened. Now while the government rhetoric was we have put a shield around care homes and blah blah blah, it was complete nonsense.”

He went on to say the opposite occurred and people with Covid were sent back to the care homes.

Care homes and representatives of the sector have said the government “completely abandoned” them, while criticism of the handling of the care home issue has been voiced by the former health secretaries Andrew Lansley and Jeremy Hunt.

Though authorities in Britain are not alone in comparison with counterparts in other western states, in terms of failing to follow through on talk of shielding care homes, a study from the London School of Economics has put the number of Covid-19 deaths among care home residents in England and Wales at 22,000, more than double the official estimate.

We all knew Hancock’s silly talk of a “protective ring” around care homes was a lie – more than a year ago, as this article evidences.

How far did Hancock manage to spread Covid-19 through the UK, simply by allowing it to spread among people in hospital getting treatment for other ailments?

And when will he be forced to face justice for it?

(I think we all know the answer to that one, judging by what usually happens: we won’t have the facts until after he has died.)

And here’s the big question:

When with the people of the UK finally stand up and say we’ve had enough of a corrupt government that rewards people who have knowingly helped cause the deaths of thousands upon thousands of us.

Source: Up to 8,700 patients died after catching Covid in English hospitals | Coronavirus | The Guardian

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Inquest hears nursing home resident died ‘dehydrated and malnourished’

Inquest: Dorothea Hale.

This not only raises questions about social care in the UK, but also about the deaths of others for whom the authorities have a duty of care.

Dorothea Hale, it is alleged, suffered neglect at a Welsh nursing home where she had been admitted after suffering two strokes that left her entirely paralysed down one side of her body.

In a stay of around four months, she developed dehydration, malnourishment and pressure sores before being transferred to hospital due to fast-declining health, where she died, aged 75.

The inquest is ongoing so we have yet to hear the coroner’s verdict on the cause of her death.

It featured in Operation Jasmine, a police investigation into the neglect of elderly residents at several care homes in south Wales.

That inquiry lasted nearly a decade and cost £11.6 million, with detectives examining 63 deaths potentially caused or abetted by inadequate healthcare treatment.

The suggestion of failures in social care indicate that reform is desperately needed – and has indeed been promised by successive Tory governments for many years, although we have yet to hear a single policy proposal.

Here’s my question:

If 63 deaths in social care can lead to a lengthy – and costly – inquiry, why do 150 deaths in the benefit system not merit the same treatment?

Source: Welsh nursing home resident ‘died after becoming dehydrated and malnourished’ | The Independent

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#PoorBoris part II: now he’s complaining that he *can* pay for his kids!

Money, money, money: but how much of it was donated by Boris Johnson’s Tory cronies, did it pay for the Downing Street wallpaper, and did Johnson want even more, so his donors paid for his children instead of him?

Don’t you wish Boris Johnson would make his mind up?

The reporters at The Times and The Sunday Times probably do.

Back in September, The Times reported that Johnson was complaining that he was hard-up as a result of achieving his lifetime ambition of becoming prime minister.

It had cut his income in half, the paper claimed, while he was still paying for four of the six children he accepts responsibility for.

Now it seems he is complaining that he is perfectly capable of covering his costs, after the Sunday Times suggested he had asked Tory donors to pay for a nanny.

(For one of his kids or for Johnson himself? Couldn’t Jacob Rees-Mogg have provided a decent reference? He knows nannies.)

Apparently,

Asked about the same issue during the Downing Street press briefing, Mr Johnson’s official spokesman said: “The prime minister has covered the costs of all childcare.”

And here’s the serious part – because it puts this story on the same level as the Downing Street refurbishment.

Johnson said he had covered the cost of that as well – but he couldn’t tell us whether he asked (for example) Lord Brownlow to put up £60 grand for it first.

And this story was prompted, it seems, by

one Conservative Party backer saying they “resented” being asked to help foot the bill for Wilfred’s childcare.

(I’m presuming Wilfred is one of the four he actually pays for.)

So now Johnson’s childcare costs are on the same level of corruption as the Downing Street wallpaper – which I understand the Electoral Commission is probing.

Let’s hope it probes Johnson’s nanny as well.

My only problem with this whole corruption angle is the obvious one that has been raised by many people on the social media:

This is a man whose decisions have led to the Covid-19 deaths of more than 150,000 people. It seems wrong that he should be brought down for sponging off of his cronies.

But then, as other people on the social media have pointed out, Al Capone was brought to book (literally) over tax avoidance.

Source: Boris Johnson paid for all son’s childcare costs, says Downing Street – BBC News

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Nurses urged to strike after Sunak offered them nothing. But how can they?

Undervalued, underpaid, overstressed: nurses need a fair deal but they won’t get it unless they strike. How can they do that without harming patients?

It’s the classic dilemma for nurses: how can they campaign for fair pay and conditions when striking may harm NHS patients?

Tory Chancellor Rishi Sunak spat in the faces of nurses across the UK in his Budget speech yesterday (March 3), which did not even mention the National Health Service.

It was a deliberate insult to the healthcare workers who have suffered and sacrificed – some losing their lives – in the face of government failure to provide even the most basic protective equipment when it was needed.

It seems Tories think applause is all that nurses deserve. Meanwhile they are working overtime or using credit to be able to pay essential bills, and using food banks to be able to eat.

They have lost both their mental and physical health, struggling to come to terms with the horrors they have witnessed while trying to cope with Covid-19, underfunded, understaffed and underequipped by the Tories.

This is a national scandal.

Campaigning organisation Nurses United UK says health staff need to think seriously about strike action. Health unions have been demanding an immediate – restorative – pay rise of between 12.5 and 15 per cent.

That’s just to bring pay back up to the level that nurses have lost in the 11 years since the Tories took office.

The Tories, it seems, consider this demand to be “one for the fairies“.

But then, as Nurses United lead organiser Anthony Johnson pointed out – it must be better than giving billions to Tory donors in return for nothing at all:

This Government is weak – that is why they u-turn so often. They know that people are watching and demanding that rather than giving billions to their donors, they invest in the people of this country.

But we come back to the crux of the matter: if nurses strike, they won’t harm the Tory government – they’ll harm sick people who don’t deserve worse treatment.

Perhaps targeted strike action – to ruin Tory press junkets in hospitals or withdraw coverage for Tory projects – is the answer?

Source: Pay campaigner asks nurses to ‘seriously consider industrial action’ | NursingNotes

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Nothing for you if you’re sick, disabled, at school or in care: reaction to the Tory budget

They all do this: but the way Rishi Sunak held the red box indicated there wasn’t much in it. And there wasn’t.

Rishi Sunak’s budget has shown he is a diehard Tory, with concessions for businesses while those of us in need can go whistle.

He has claimed his hands are tied by huge Covid-19-related debts – but we all know that he has already paid them off, by the simple means of creating the money needed to do so.

And his big plans for the future were pathetic: new ‘free ports’ that have always been a bad idea, and an investment bank to replace the one a previous Tory government sold off a few years ago.

We are ruled by intellectual pygmies – and that is being harsh on the pygmies.

I watched the budget speech and commentated on it on Twitter, so I can provide a first-hand account of the announcements – but first, I’d like to go straight to what wasn’t announced, with comments from people who were reading at the time:

So the people who did all the hard work during the Covid-19 crisis will receive no reward for their sacrifices at all – even though many of them sacrificed their lives, contracting the virus and dying because Matt Hancock couldn’t be bothered to supply proper personal protective equipment (PPE) at the right time.

However:

People with disabilities who did not receive the £20 benefit uplift because they are on so-called “legacy” benefits will still receive nothing more, even though the uplift will remain in place until September. After then, it seems people who lost their jobs because of Covid-19 will fall over a so-called “cliff edge”, with the uplift cancelled, forcing them to live on much less.

The Tories have made a major issue of education in the crisis, demanding that our children must go back to school as soon as possible in order to catch up on what they have missed – but Rishi Sunak has provided no extra facilities for this in his budget. It seems it was all talk and – in fact – the plan is to reopen a major vector for transmission of Covid and hope that the increase in infections – and deaths – won’t be noticed amid the falling numbers triggered by the vaccination programme.

And after years of promising to fix problems in the social care system – that became hugely pronounced when 30,000 people died in care homes because of Tory stupidity – Sunak is breaking that promise by offering nothing.

Meanwhile, those who profited hugely from the pandemic – either by being perfectly situated to continue selling goods to people in lockdown or by receiving government Covid-related contracts to provide services at hugely-inflated costs (many of which were not actually provided because the contractors were not qualified to do so) are to get off scot-free because Sunak has backed away from calls to impose a wealth tax.

So, what has he done?

Well, he carped on a lot about borrowing a huge amount of money to pay for Covid-19. That was a stream of lies from start to finish, as I pointed out:

So we were led to expect tax hikes a-go-go. But this didn’t happen:

The refers to income tax, National Insurance and VAT. However – and this is indeed a ‘however’:

This is the amount you earn before you start paying tax, or before you start paying it at a higher rate. Because these thresholds are frozen, it seems more people will pay at a higher rate due to wage inflation, so there will be a de facto increase in taxes. But this depends on people receiving pay rises to cover their costs and Tory policy over the last 11 years has been to discourage that – it’s the reason real take-home pay has fallen by thousands of pounds per year since 2010.

This was the only increase in taxation, and it is only on a tax on profits. So firms that pay corporation tax can avoid it by ensuring that they make no profit from 2023. The best way to do that is to invest in infrastructure and wages (by employing more people, perhaps).

It would be wrong to say that Sunak’s budget does nothing for ordinary people – but it’s all based around existing Covid-related schemes:

Sunak went on to announce plans for government investment. The main points were:

But “free ports” are not new, nor are they likely to help:

Here’s an interesting point:

Mr McDonnell himself promptly answered it:

There was also some muttering about policies that give a nod to the environment but if you blinked, you missed them – and This Writer blinked. They certainly don’t constitute a “Green Industrial Revolution”!

As Tory budgets go, this is not the disaster for working-class people that it could have been – although the main hits have been offset, so it may be a few months or years until we can know the effects for sure.

The lack of any hard taxes or austerity measures suggests a tacit admission that Covid-19 really is bought and paid-for, and there won’t be any real need to pay for it again.

So This Writer is left with a huge sense of anticlimax. I was expecting to be fearful after today; instead I feel let down.

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Covid-related deaths in care homes rise 46% in a week – after Tories promised to protect residents

Visiting time: guidance for visiting relatives in care homes, published a few months ago, suggesting putting them behind glass, in order to conform with social distancing rules.

What happened?

The Tories were humiliated over care home deaths, way back in the spring of last year, after 30,000 people were said to have died because of government idiocy.

The Tories had ruled that Covid-19 patients from care homes should not stay in hospital but should be returned to their places of residence – most of which didn’t have any protective facilities so they were sent to infect their friends and neighbours.

And the Tories failed to order that staff who usually move between homes should stop, so their employers didn’t either. That meant staff were catching the disease in one home and then transmitting it to others as they did their rounds.

Now we’re being told the rise is due to the virus having mutated into a more virulent form – but it has to be carried in by someone. I wonder who.

Deaths in care homes in England have hit the highest level since mid-May, according to the latest official figures, which revealed a 46% jump in coronavirus-related deaths in the last week as the more transmissible variant of Covid-19 breaches care homes’ defences.

In the week to last Friday, 1,260 deaths in care homes involving Covid-19 were reported to the Care Quality Commission, a sharp jump from 824 and 661 in the previous two weeks. The weekly death toll in care homes had fallen to well below 100 in early October.

Staff say guidelines have been followed to the letter, which suggests to me that they need to be revised; they don’t work.

No wonder insurers have stopped providing coverage for those homes that have offered to look after discharged Covid patients – to prevent the possibility of infection at other locations.

Source: Covid-related deaths in care homes in England jump by 46% | World news | The Guardian

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Care home residents told they can’t have vaccine unless they get on a bus

Frail residents of care homes across the UK are being told they can’t have the new Covid-19 vaccine unless they get on a bus to the hospitals where the jabs are being administered.

Apparently storage conditions mean they can’t have the injections in their care homes – but their physical condition means they can’t take the trip to hospital either.

Isn’t this going to cause yet another Covid care home scandal?

Covid vaccine plans for frail care home residents were in chaos tonight after they were told: Get on the bus.

The Government says they will have to travel to hospital hubs for the jab but angry care bosses said: “There’s no way they can do that.”

Care homes fear vaccines won’t be delivered to them until next year despite Government promises they would be a priority.

The vaccine must be transported at minus 70C, and can only be kept outside ultra-cold storage for a few days.

This means 50 hospital hubs in England will receive the first batch before GPs start delivering the vaccine in the community from December 14.

The complex logistical issues mean there are fears some of the most vulnerable in care homes will miss out if they can’t be safely taken to hospital.

Yet again, the Tories fail to think out their stratagy properly.

Yet again, it seems the most vulnerable will pay the price for bull-in-a-china-shop Boris Johnson’s stupidity.

Source: Covid vaccine plans for care home in chaos after frail residents told to ‘get on bus’ – Mirror Online

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Gavin Williamson scrapped dozens of protections for children – unlawfully

Williamson the dunce: I know it’s a duff image but it reflects this MP’s abilities so I’ll keep using it as long as he continues to be a dunce.

Tory Education Secretary Gavin Williamson stripped children in care of 65 legal protections illegally, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

Judges said he should have consulted the Children’s Commissioner and other stakeholder organisations before inflicting such a “substantial and wide-ranging” “bonfire of children’s rights”.

The regulations affected included legal timescales for social-worker visits to children in care, six-monthly reviews of children’s welfare, independent scrutiny of children’s homes and senior officer oversight of adoption decision-making for babies and children.

The protections affected also cover disabled children having short breaks and children in care sent many miles away from home.

It seems Williamson did conduct a consultation but was selective about whose opinions he sought – adoption agencies, private providers and local government bodies.

But organisations representing the children and young people who were to be affected by the changes were not consulted and the Children’s Commissioner only found out about the changes after they had been forced through Parliament through the Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) regulations in April.

We are told that all of the changes were temporary and have now expired.

We have yet to hear – may never hear – how many children were harmed as a result of them.

Williamson has been told to run proper consultations in future.

But will he? And doesn’t this simply reignite the debate over whether Conservatives should be allowed anywhere near children in care.

Source: Education secretary ‘unlawfully scrapped children’s rights’ – BBC News

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